The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Keystone XL and Arbitrary Deadlines

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 13, 2011

A case of trying to have it both ways: The administration (through the State Department) says efforts to require a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days after passage of payroll tax legislation would be an “arbitrary deadline” that would compromise the current review process.

Flash back to last month, when the administration ditched its long-standing promise to decide on the Keystone XL by the end of this year and moved the decision, arbitrarily some would say, to early 2013 – after the 2012 elections. Officials said more time was needed for study, even though the pipeline review passed the three-year mark in September and already has cleared three consecutive environmental studies.

Looks like “arbitrary” depends on who’s setting the deadline, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, public support remains high for a project that could create 20,000 new U.S. jobs immediately and which would be integral to a broader strategy of increased investment in Canadian oil sands development that could create more than 500,000 new jobs by 2035. Check out this interactive poll snagged earlier today from Wall Street

The pro-pipeline percentage is consistent with a Rasmussen poll from last month that showed 60 percent of likely U.S. voters favor the Keystone XL’s construction. Both results support a Harris Interactive poll from November that showed that using pipelines to bring oil sands crude from neighbor and ally Canada is an 80/20 issue with Americans – that is, 8 in 10 support the idea.

The reason isn’t complicated. The Keystone XL represents jobs, economic growth and energy security.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.